Twenty years have passed since literature professor Joseph Licht left behind his entire life – his wife Rebecca, his five sons, his father, and the religious Israeli farming community where he grew up – when he fell in love with a man, the genius rabbi Yoel Rosenzweig. Their affair is long over, but its echoes continue to reverberate through the lives of Joseph, Rebecca, and their sons in ways that none of them could have predicted.
Now, for his fiftieth birthday, Joseph is preparing to have his five sons and the daughter-in-law he has never met spend the Sabbath with him in the Tel Aviv penthouse that he shares with a man, who is conveniently out of town that weekend. This will be the first time Joseph and all his sons will be together in nearly two decades.
The boys’ lives have taken widely varying paths. While some have become extremely religious, another is completely cosmopolitan and secular, and their feelings toward their father range from acceptance to bitter resentment. As they prepare for this reunion, Joseph, his sons, and even Rebecca, must confront what was, what is, and what could have been
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“Fallenberg allows each character to raise the novel’s emotional stakes with remarkable deftness…Raises brave questions about the nature of family and betrayal, rupture and healing.” – San Francisco Chronicle
“A stirring exploration of obsession, spirituality and the healing power of time…Light Fell is an astonishingly accomplished first novel, wisely attuned to life’s infinitely strange turns.” – Miami Herald
“Light Fell resounds with vibrant prose and lush imagery and handles its controversial subject matter with elegance, honesty and grace.” – Jerusalem Post
“Light Fell is full of substantive light. Light that is sometimes bent or deflected by the gravity of law and tradition, a difficult luminosity that in Fallenberg’s deft hands remains metaphorically complex…In his moving and often subtle novel, Fallenberg is expert at providing living portraits of numerous characters both central and peripheral to Joseph’s life.” – The Forward
“Fallenberg’s prose is spare but lyrical, and his handling of the narrative elements elevates the book beyond the cliches of love stories or even coming-out stories. The interplay of desire, duty and identity is compellingly complex…and brings to mind Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. In Light Fell, as in Mrs. Dalloway, the past is more than background to the present; it is an active force in the present.” – Cleveland Jewish News
“Light Fell belongs in the category of great literature.” – Jewish Tribune of Canada